Sunday, June 25, 2006

Entry #26

"Civic Duty"
by Sandra Seamans


Waking up with the chickens, I can get a pretty good leg-up on the goings on in our small town. Take this morning for instance, there's a body dangling from the electric pole out front of my house. Such a ghastly thing to see before my morning coffee.

I called the sheriff, but I don't think he wanted to believed me. After all, I'm seventy-three and my eyesight isn't what it used to be. Of course, when I called him about the bear last week and it turned out to be nothing but Emmett Caldwell without his shirt, I can understand him hesitating. But there’s no mistaking that body this morning. I even dug out my binoculars to get a better look, and judging from that scarlet colored nightie the body's wearing, I’d say that's Pearly Jones hanging up there.

Pearly and her husband, Joe, have been keeping folks up at night. One knock 'em down after another. Night after night. Disturbing everyone's sleep. Why, just last night, the feuding got so loud, the sheriff showed up to quiet them down. He made Pearly and Joe kiss and make up, though by the looks of things, it didn’t take. That's probably why the sheriff wasn't too happy when I called to tell him about Pearly. But what was I supposed to do? Pearly's hanging from the electric pole, I had to notify someone. The dead deserve a little respect.

19 comments:

For The Trees said...

All too real in certain parts. All too real.

Great story, though. I like the way you spun it out.

Jaye Wells said...

Great. I love the voice here.

Flood said...

This rang true in a lot of ways. Excellent.

Jer said...

Loved the matter-of-fact voice of the storyteller.

Scott said...

I like that we are hearing from someone so old, and you can hear it in the apathetic way the narrator reports.

Bhaswati said...

What Scott said. The aged voice, concerned yet detached to a degree, was interesting.

Kelly Parra said...

Sandra, love the voice! Awesome job!

September said...

I love it too that it was told by this elderly lady -- almost seems like something one would see on TV -- they always think the old woman is crazy or something -- I loved it.

I especially loved this part: Such a ghastly thing to see before my morning coffee.

Good job, Sandra.

Jim said...

Now, my twisted mind keeps wanting to make the sheriff the killer here - his solution to an ongoing public problem in his town.

bekbek said...

The "leg-up" and the suspended body together made me snort. You get up early enough, you can get more than a leg up, I guess.

Very nicely done.

sandra seamans said...

Thanks so much for the kind words everyone. And, Jim, I like the way your mind works. Wish I'd thought of that!

Amra Pajalic said...

Great voice. Also love the way you build tension and explain what happened and why.

k l gilbert said...

Sandra...it smacks of Flannery O'Connor. Great characterization.
It reminded me of when things in real life are surreal...that is the feel it had. If that makes sense?

Sue said...

Love this character. She's a keeper. It'd be interesting to see her featured in a longer story.

Bernita said...

As in the previous contest, Sandra - I really like your writing.
You have the trick of both character and plot.

JLB said...

This was great, and well executed within a monologue.

sandra seamans said...

Thanks everyone!! Such wonderful compliments. And Bernita, I think you're my number one fan.

Fran Piper said...

"Emmett Caldwell without his shirt" is a great image!

Your humor is great, but with enough darkness to ground it in reality.

Excellent work!

jason evans said...

Sandra, congrats on 3rd place!

So much can be learned from this one, short piece. (1) A beginning hook; (2) wonderful character voice--third person POV how it should be done; (3) every sentence has a purpose and glows. Perfect marks.